Stay Smart & EngagedShe got me…

The rain was pouring down this morning as our daughter, Charlotte, was getting ready to walk to school, so I caved and drove her. And I’m glad I did. Because as I dropped her off to join the gaggle of noisy, drenched kids waiting outside the middle school, I started thinking.

Here were all these kids crowded round the dripping doorway to march in for another day of challenge, learning and growth. I was jealous—they were walking into this incredible opportunity to be exposed to new content, to digest it in the context of what they know now, and to arrive on the far side with a fresh perspective and new skills.

Few of us have this kind of formal growth opportunity anymore, but ongoing intellectual and creative growth is our oxygen. It’s the ONLY way to ensure our marketing and fundraising content is relevant, while fueling our personal satisfaction.

My call to action for all of us fundraisers and nonprofit communicators? Let’s schedule some learning—via conversations, reading, participating—into every day, even if for just five minutes.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 22, 2014 in Professional Development | 8 comments

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Communications Coordinator (PT) World Affairs Council of Oregon (Portland, OR)

Communications Specialist  The Health Trust (San Jose, CA)

Communications Specialist, School Improvement & Marketing Manager Southern Regional Education Board (Atlanta, GA)

Events Director/Consultant & External Relations Associate END Fund (New York, NY)

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Nancy Schwartz on October 20, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 3 comments
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Within the first five minutes of meeting Leili Khalessi last year, I learned that she and her colleagues were in the process of rebranding their organization, including a new name. As Marketing and Communications Manager with (what is now) Red Rover, Leili was right in the middle of that challenging project. So I jumped on the opportunity to ask if she’d share the organization’s experience in this marketing adventure.

Most important takeaways:

  1. Pinpoint the problem you’re trying to solve with your marketing decisions, especially when it’s as big as a new name
  2. Ensure your organizational name/brand is recognized (and repeatable), before you invest in program branding. If you don’t, you’re likely to end up with people thinking your organization provides that one program only, which limits your growth in size and direction.

Here’s part one of this useful case study:

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Nancy Schwartz on October 14, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 4 comments
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Powerful Nonprofit Message
Breath this in deeply. It’s a strong model of that golden communications rule: Show, Don’t Tell.

Here, on its Facebook page, Breast Cancer Action (BCA) zigs rather than zags, with memorable results. See post in full size here.

Most nonprofits would have simply told folks that  pink-labeled water bottles is pinkwashing, and leave it at that. But…

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Nancy Schwartz on October 7, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 3 comments
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

new-jobwebCommunications & Graphic Design Manager, Algiers Charter School Association (New Orleans, LA)

Communications Associate, The Hatcher Group (Bethesda, MD)

Communications Director, Venture Philanthropy Partners (Washington, DC)

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Nancy Schwartz on October 6, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 2 comments
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Home BaseWay back when, when social media was new-ish (let’s say 2007), I used this classic baseball analogy to illustrate how social media fit into the communications universe.

   1) Website as home base, with email as pitcher (no hits without the pitcher)
2) Core social media platforms (now Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) as inside bases
3) Other social media platforms as the outfield.

Then, for so many organizations, social media platforms took precedence—capturing our imagination and anxiety (if not the impact)—over more traditional online and offline marketing… READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on September 30, 2014 in High-Impact Websites | 2 comments
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

Digital Communications ManagerOpportunity1 and Communications Content Specialist, Hunt Alternatives (Washington, DC and Cambridge, MA)

Digital Marketing Specialist, National 4-H Council
(Chevy Chase, MD)

Director of Audience Development & Communications, WETA (Arlington, VA)

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Nancy Schwartz on September 29, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 1 comment
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Donor LoveDonor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize and activate your prospects and donors—are THE key to fundraising success. That’s nothing new.

What you may not know though, is how few organizations do donor communications well. So if that’s your organization, you’re not alone!

Now—with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital—we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail, and the impact that failure makes. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down, or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, here’s the kick-in-the-pants you need.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 23, 2014 in Fundraising: Innovations & Research | 0 comments
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Please post your open nonprofit marketing positions here

keepcalmwebCommunications Associate for Digital Media, Advancement Project (Washington, DC)

Communications/Marketing Associate, ACLU (New York, NY)

Communications Manager, The Museum of the African Diaspora
(San Francisco, CA)
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Nancy Schwartz on September 22, 2014 in Jobs and Hiring | 1 comment
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recalibrateI know your fall is booting up big time—on right-now to-dos, end-of-year campaigns and thinking/talking on what to do differently and better next year. Same here, and for our client orgs.

But—thanks to pulling myself away from work for a much-needed sabbatical—I’m seeing what’s ahead for me and Getting Attention.org far more clearly than ever before.

Now, two months later, I’m back to work and focused on bringing my new professional vision to life. That’s:

  1. Finding a way to keep doing what I love (that stays put—guiding nonprofits like yours to build & strengthen relationships with donors, volunteers and more, via marketing & communications);
  2. While making enough money to co-support our family (no change there); BUT…drum roll here
  3. Shifting my decision-making framework to center on family, friends and the issues that mean the most to me.

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Nancy Schwartz on September 17, 2014 in Professional Development | 11 comments
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